SPECIAL effects maestro Richard Bluff has booked himself a double date on the film awards season red carpet - but insists he won’t be seeking out the A-listers.
The former Oakwood Comprehensive student is up for both an Oscar and a BAFTA this month for his work, leading the visual effects team on the Marvel action film Doctor Strange, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Richard (39) said he was really looking forward to both occasions and his sister Nicola Hacking whom he plans to take to the BAFTAs in London on Sunday, was beside herself with excitement.
But he conceded he was more interested in mixing with other “techs” than rubbing shoulders with acting royalty.
“I usually veer towards the craftspeople rather than the actors, so I’ll be seeking out the techs and the people I work with and sharing it with them,” he said.
“It’s a great honour to be nominated and I think I’ll be able to relax and enjoy myself because I don’t have any expectation of us winning.”
Richard is not just being modest, for while Doctor Strange has gathered some glowing praise, it is up against Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Jungle Book in the battle for the golden gongs.
“Of course, I’d be going up and grabbing the Oscar if we won, but I think Jungle Book and Star Wars are far more deserving,” said the dad of two, who is originally from Moorgate but now lives in San Francisco.
“That’s not taking anything away from what everyone has put into Doctor Strange, but I don’t think I will be nervous, I can enjoy it.
“I went to the Oscars back in 2007 as a guest when Transformers was nominated but this is the first time proper for me.”
Richard, who works for iconic sci-fi company Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) has already collected a Hollywood Film Award and a Seattle Film Critics Award with fellow effects supervisor Stephane Ceretti for the Marvel superhero film.
His role in Doctor Strange was leading the effects teams for Marvel in San Francisco, Vancouver and London but he admitted he couldn’t resist getting hands-on, adding: “When I started out I was an artist and I have still done some shots on this movie myself - I can’t separate myself from being an artist.”
Richard said the BAFTA nomination was a special treat as it meant he could come home to Rotherham and see his family, before taking Nicola for an evening to remember at the Royal Albert Hall.
“That’s the nicest part for me, to be able to see it through the eyes of someone else,” he said.
Nicola said: “I’m so proud of Richard and to be with him sharing this amazing experience will be absolute pleasure and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me.”
Richard, whose previous credits include The Big Short, Lucy, Pacific Rim, Cloud Atlas, The Avengers, Avatar and Star Trek. is now helping to create a new Falcon Experience ride based on Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon spaceship as part of the expansion of Disney’s theme parks in Florida and Los Angeles.
But he will be keeping an eye on his colleague’s new projects, too.
He added: “Working here is like being on the inside of the chocolate factory - seeing what everyone is working on and wanting a taste of it.”
See if you can spot Richard - and hopefully see him pick up an award or two - when the BAFTAs are screened at 9pm on Sunday on BBC1 and the Oscar winners are revealed on February 26.